Scripture – Colossians 3
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Once we have accepted the gift of salvation, we are thrust into an incredible journey. It is not always “fun”; we are not always “happy”, but we can experience eternity everyday if we actively participate in Holy Living.
What is “active” participation? It means “thinking” and “working” to turn from our old ways and start anew. It means looking at ourselves and shedding what needs to be shed and developing what needs to be developed. We are not alone in this journey! The Holy Spirit is with us guiding us, nudging us, alerting us to what needs to be changed.
So what do we need to be looking for? Before offering a few examples, it must be made clear that each and every person has a different life journey. Although, many of us have similar circumstances, no one experiences the same set of circumstances as someone else. This is important to keep in mind when journeying through life – we can’t compare ourselves to someone else – it will not work. We can learn from one another and apply other’s insights to our own life, but each of us has to figure this out by ourselves through the guidance of the Spirit.
Set your hearts and minds on the “things above”. First thing “to do” is turn your focus from earthly things to Christ. Start small and work your way deeper. Instead of watching t.v. all evening, eliminate a show and crack open your bible or read or listen to a devotion. (check out pray-as-you-go or the Bible Hub). Turn on a Christian radio station like k-love on your way to work. Go for a walk and listen to the Word on your phone (try you version bible app) Join a Bible Study or Christian book club. Go to Church with a friend. In other words, start your training somewhere.
In everyday living, use your mind and heart to identify situations where you are exercising earthly desires contrary to God – sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed. Take yourself out of these situations and replace the time previously spent with an activity that focuses on God. It is hard to be specific here because each person has to identify their own “wrong” living and turn from it.
In your daily interactions with others, be mindful of your words and your responses. We all have moments of snarkiness – times when we point out what we perceive as others faults and failures for no good reason except it makes us feel superior. Let us learn to recognize these moments and avoid the comments or apologize for them if they slip out. Remember to include God in this process asking for wisdom to discern what to say in these tough situations, the strength to admit when we have failed, and forgiveness when we respond in our humanness.
Actively choose to respond to situations and people with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. If a friend has lost a parent or child, send them a card, make them a meal, remember them in prayer – practice Holy living. If your spouse has had a particularly tough time at work, make a special meal, or take them to the movies, give them a flower from your garden and write a sweet note. If your child is struggling in some area, “think” with your heart and mind of a way to convey your love for them – a note on their pillow, extra time spent with them, a tutor, or the plain truth delivered in love.
Go forth this day and week in the power of the Holy Spirit – mindful of walking in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. And . . . Remember, eternity meets us in this moment!